Friday, May 30, 2014

Next Friday: Keeper of the Cerulean Sign Background (For D&D 5E) [UPDATED]

Keeper of the Cerulean Sign (Background) 

The Cerulean Sign is an ancient rune of power, created untold eons ago by a race or deity long since vanished. This ancient race or deity clearly opposed the rise of the aberrant races, yet its efforts were ultimately a failure. The aberration races prosper, while their ancient adversary is forgotten. All that remains is the Cerulean Sign and its still-potent power against creatures from outside the realm of sanity.

The power of the Cerulean Sign draws a small group of loyal keepers. These people work to keep the knowledge of the Cerulean Sign alive, for without it, the ancient aberrations cannot be opposed. But a keeper does far more than protect the Cerulean Sign. She takes the fight to the aberrations, and specifically to those they have seduced. She seeks out aberration cults and crushes them, ensuring that the foul taint from beyond can never supplant what is pure in the world.

Trait - Abolisher
Your experience hunting aberrations from the Far Realm help you to recognize signs of their presence in an area and their followers.

Skills: Arcana, Investigation
Tools:  Cerulean sign*
Languages: One of your choice.

Traveler's cloths, letters from fellow keepers, ink, pen, paper sheets (10 sheets), journal, 10 gp, 8 sp, 9 cp

*When wielding the Cerulean Sign any aberrations within a 60 ft. radius must make a Wisdom save (DC = 8 + twice the wielder's Proficiency bonus) or become Frightened.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Comics Day: Jackknife (For FASERIP)

Profile:  Jackknife

Fighting: Incredible (40)
Agility:  Remarkable (30)
Strength:  Incredible (40)
Endurance:  Remarkable (30)
Reason:  Excellent (20)
Intuition:  Excellent (20)
Psyche:  Excellent (20)
Health:  140
Karma: 60
Popularity:  Feeble (2)
Resources:  Remarkable (30)
Power Nulification (Special)
Jackknife is immune to any paranormal ability that affects him.
Additionally, while within a 10 foot radius, any paranormal being has their powers reduced to a max of Remarkable.
Infiltration, Intimidation, Martial Arts B and D, Terrorism
CITADEL is still trying acquire additional information.

What's in a Name: Basic vs Advanced D&D

I won't be able to get my normal New Comics Day post up today, but I had a thought that I wanted to share.

On top of how awesome having Basic DnD be free I think it's a nice way to honor the legacy of the game (which has historically had a Basic and Advanced component), while keeping it easily marketable.

Even as a kid, with Advanced DnD and Advanced Marvel Super Heroes, I found it confusing how the game was "Advanced" and if that meant I NEEDED to start with "Basic" (I literally thought I couldn't even start with ADnD).  It was an impediment that slowed me from playing my first RPG because I lacked a local hobby store with a knowledgable staff, an experienced gamer to ask or the internet.

While I think it was important to remove both Basic and Advanced from the 3rd and 4th edition eras.
I think bringing back Basic is a great idea because it quickly tells someone it's for beginners and this is where you should start playing the game.  And it's free.

I've been liking the decisions I'm seeing made for 5E and while I can't foresee how I'll feel a year from now, I do know this edition looks like its exactly what I want and the hobby needs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free Basic D&D for 5E

I doubt this is news to most, but I think this is an interesting step--a good step for DnD and the hobby.  Let's be honest, wether we discuss it or not, it's not hard to find a copy of any game to pirate and if a game has an SRD, well the pirated copy isn't even necessary.

But Basic DnD for free, give us an easy to find (and to direct customers to) filled with art that is 100% legal.

It's a good idea.

No, it's a great idea.

Thanks WotC.

If it's Tuesday it must be Jarlsburg: The Bloody Alley of Hollings-Hound Way

In the Northern Quarter of Yeti, between 19 and 20 Hollings-Hound Way is the Bloody Alley.

It is said that on first three nights of each month, from midnight to approximately 2am, blood pours in great gushing leaks from the walls on both side of the alley.  The blood smells like cinnamon and many folk say it has powerful restorative properties.  If you have the courage to collect it.

In the last two years alone, over 40 bodies have been found on those first three days of each month, their lungs filled with blood--drowned by the Alley itself.

Both buildings are now abandoned and no one dares enter either, even common hooligans.

The Oleander Council has pointedly ignored this problem and even after numerous requests from the business owners and residents form the area nothing has been done about the situation.

Many in Yeti whisper that the Alley is payment for some terrible pact between a Council Minister and some terrible fiend.  Others say that it is yet another part of the Dwarves' Shame.  But a drunken Silvercloak supposedly said it's a trap.  It's been set for something foul and unnamable, but its set and all it needs is the right prey.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday: Clamp Champ (For Labyrinth Lord)

Clamp Champ (Raenius)

After Duncan was captured and permanently turned into one of the Snake Men, Raenius, former Body Guard to King Randor, stepped in as the new royal Man-At-Arms. Although lacking Duncan’s skills as an inventor, Raenius proved his worth to the Masters of the Universe with his ferocious hand-to-hand combat and extensive knowledge of almost every weapon, including his favorite, the techno clamp, for which he earned the nickname “Clamp Champ”. He continued to lead the Masters all the way to the Second Ultimate Battleground. Clamp Champ surprises his enemies with his clamping action.

No. Enco.: 1 (Unique)

Movement: 60'

Armor Class: 5 (14)

Hit Dice: 5

Attacks: Weapon or Techno Clamp

Damage: 1d8 or 1d10

Special: On a natural 17-20 with the Techno Clamp, an enemy is immobilized unless they can make a Save vs Petrification.

Save: F5

Morale: 10

Alignment: LG

X.P. Value: 350

Friday, May 23, 2014

Next Friday: Ray Gun (For D&D 5e)

Ray Gun

Legendary magic weapon (handgun)
These weapons are few and far between, several owners have claimed to find on the outskirts of Waterdeep (where many individuals have sworn they have seen sky ships over the city).  

Property: You gain a +2 to attack and damage rolls you make with this weapon (deals1d6 radiant damage; whenever a 6 is rolled, roll the die again and add it to the total until a 6 is no longer rolled).

Property (Attuned): You gain a +2 to attack and damage rolls you make with this weapon (deals 1d6 radiant damage; whenever a 6 is rolled, roll the die again and add it to the total until a 6 is no longer rolled).  You score a critical hit on an 18-20.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Bridge Product for D&D 5E

ENWorld is reporting news from ACD Game Days (a distributor) that upon releases of the DnD Starter, there will be a free pdf download of approximately 15% of the Player's Handbook handling character generation.

While is excellent news, I had personally hoped that the Starter would give a coupon for a free month of DnDI and access to an online character generator.

While I personally can make a DnD 5E character in under 15 minutes these days, I did really enjoy the online tools.

Hopefully they will return.

One last part, I hope they start talking about Dragon and Dungeon soon.  Awesome digital content at launch would just be icing on the cake.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Comics Day: Smartgun (For FASERIP)

Profile:  Smartgun

Fighting: Excellent (20)

Agility:  Remarkable (30)
Strength:  Good (10)
Endurance:  Excellent (20)
Reason:  Excellent (20)
Intuition:  Excellent (20)
Psyche:  Good (10)
Health:  80
Karma: 50
Popularity:  Feeble (2)
Resources:  Good (20)
Force Blast Monstrous (75)
Body Suit (Body Armor) Excellent (20)
Art, Leadership, Music
Additional Information:
Real Name: Clint Haverford
Aliases/Nicks: None
Class: Vigilante 
Identity: Secret
Age: 22
Gender: Male 
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 125 lbs.
Hair/Fur: Black
Eyes: Brown
Physical Form: Humanoid 
Race: Homo Superior
Marital Status: Complicated 
Citizenship: U.S.A. of Earth 926
Place of Birth: Pawnee, IN of Earth 926
Base of Operations: Louisville, KY of Earth 926
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education from Western Kentucky University
Occupation: Security for CITADEL
Origin of Powers: Mutant
Group Affiliation: CITADEL

Known Relatives
Father: Tony Haverford
Mother: Rahni Haverford
Siblings: Tom
Children: None


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Price of DnD 5E

Yeah, I know it's just DnD this time, but I'm dropping Next and never liked Type V.

I'm seeing quite a bit of negative reaction to the pricing of the Core rulebooks at $50 each.

I understand money is tight, but I'm curious how many people are actually buying print books of any kind?

New hardcover novels are $25.  Easily.

New paperbacks are $8.

If I take my family to the movies (there are 4 of us) and then figure in popcorn (my family won't see a movie without popcorn...I've tried), I'm looking at $80.

Now DnD gives me more entertainment then any of the above three examples.

So $150 is worth, to me, 6 hardcovers and 2 movies, definitely.  Its' probably worth 18 and three quarters novels...unless my group has disbanded.

Let's go for another example.  Warhammer 40,000's new 7th edition rulebook (6th edition came out approximately 18 months ago) is $85.

Pathfinder (the great bastion of many who rebel against WotC) costs $130 when you count the Core rulebook, the Gamemastery Guide and Bestiary 1.  Yeah, it's $20 less, but we're dealing with about six years worth of inflation.

Plus the new DnD Starter will be $20 compared to the Pathfinder Beginner's Box (a great product) $35 price tag.

Somewhere, people need to realize that WotC isn't raping them, they're covering their costs of development and factoring piracy.  And yes, the argument can be made that piracy doesn't hurt, but it's still a concern for creative groups because their blood, sweat, and tears went into that product.  Let's remember the design team aren't Hasbro suits, they're gamers and they have to make a profit to keep their jobs.

Now, as a local game store that tries to be very, very friendly, Comic Book World will be capitalizing on the fact that we will have product early as a WPN store and we'll be discounting at least 20% on the books, so we're trying to offer the best of both worlds.  Its still $120, but that's better than $150.  But I'd still pay $150 for DnD 5E.  I've seen quite a bit of it, more than I can truly say, and I'm very impressed.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday: Kobra Khan (For Labyrinth Lord)

Kobra Khan (Khan of Clan Kobra)

A descendant of the ancient Snake Men, Khan became fascinated with the many legends of their victories in the Great Wars. Breaking into the archives of Eternos Palace, he learned that the great King Hsss had been locked in the Void at the end of the war. In a ruse to free his King, Khan joined forces with Skeletor and, with the help of Evil-Lyn, they acquired Zodak's staff, the key to freeing his Snake Men brethren. Together he and Evil-Lyn opened the Snake Pit portal releasing Hsss and his ageless army, returning their terror to Eternia. Khan went on to loyally serve Hsss, controlling his prey with his evil hypnotic mist!

No. Enco.: 1 (Unique)

Movement: 60'

Armor Class: 7 (13)

Hit Dice: 5

Attacks: Toxin Blaster

Damage: 2d4

Special: 4 times per day Kobra Khan may cast Charm Person, but does not have to speak the same language as his target.

Save: F5

Morale: 12

Alignment: LE

X.P. Value: 350

Dungeons & Dragons Release Schedule July to November

I was disappointed when I got my weekly solicitations from WotC on Saturday and there were no July preorders yet, but I had a feeling we'd get an announcement today and sure enough it hit.

What's great about this is that my store, Comic Book World, will get the PHB 6 days before Gen Con and 11 days before Amazon, which is great because I'm planning on matching Amazon's pricing.

July 3:  
D&D Starter Set released at WPN retailers (CBW is a WPN Retailer)
WizKids’ Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Miniatures Starter Set Heroes released
July 15:  
D&D Starter Set released at non-WPN retailers
August 8:  
D&D Player’s Handbook and Hoard of the Dragon Queen released at WPN retailers
WizKids’ Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Miniatures Set One Standard Booster released
August 14:  
Tyranny of Dragons launches for Cryptic Studios’ Neverwinter
August 14-17:  
Gen Con (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and D&D Player’s Handbooksold there)
August 19:  
Hoard of the Dragon Queen and D&D Player’s Handbook released at non-WPN retailers
D&D Monster Manual released
Rise of Tiamat released
Dungeon Master’s Guide released

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Prime Materials: Chain Sword (For OSRIC)

Chain Sword (AFPRT): Akkbar Nuance, the legendary Thief of Thieves, ordered the crafting of this item by the Vulcanator, who owed Nuance a favor.

The weapon is worn as a stylish bracelet made of steel, until the command word, "Surprise" is uttered, where it then instantly becomes a +1 longsword.

While a longsword, if a natural 19 or 20 is rolled in combat, any target whose size is Large or smaller, is immediately knocked prone as the blade wraps around their legs and trips them.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Next Friday: Moonshadow


Legendary magic weapon (rapier)
Folk lore tells us that the rapier known as Moonshadow was blessed by a vistani witch woman after her daughter was murdered by the infamous werewolf, Edgar Tsiana.  While the blade has not ended the reign of terror by Tsiana, it has been responsible for the destruction of over 20 lycanthropes.

Property: You gain a +2 to attack and damage rolls you make with this weapon when the target is a lycanthrope or shapeshifter.

Property (Attuned): You gain a +2 to attack and damage rolls you make with this weapon and any critical strikes against lycanthropes or shapeshifters deal quadruple damage.  You also gain a +2 to AC and have advantage on any saving throws to resist the curse of lycanthropy.

Cross Planes Drifter: Godzooky (For Labyrinth Lord)


Frequency: Very Rare
No. Encountered: Unique
Size: Large
Move: 60 ft; 60 ft. gliding
Armour Class: 3 (17)
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: Spew Smoke or Calls his Uncle Godzilla
Damage: 1d3 damage
Special Attacks: Godzooky has a 98% chance to call his Uncle Godzilla as an action.  Godzilla will arrive in 1d4 rounds.
Special Defences: Takes half-damage from non-magical weapons
Magic Resistance: Standard
Lair Probability: 10%
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Level/XP: 6/400

Treasure: None.

If you grew up in the '70's and '80's you remember Godzooky.  Godzilla premieres today and I had him on my mind.

Zergling is owned by Blizzard and this is a fan work.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Comics Day: Dataplan (For FASERIP)

Profile:  Dataplan

Fighting: Good (10)
Agility:  Excellent (20)
Strength:  Good (10)
Endurance:  Excellent (20)
Reason:  Excellent (20)
Intuition:  Remarkable (30)
Psyche:  Amazing (50)
Health:  60
Karma: 100
Popularity:  Feeble (2)
Resources:  Remarkable (30)
Telepathy Unearthly (100)
Psychic Blast Remarkable (30)
Dataplan provides communication, logistics and tactical advice to the members of CITADEL while agents are on the ground.  Due to the extreme reach of her telepathy she usually stays at the group's headquarters in Louisville.
History, Interrogation, Investigation, Pop Culture, Tactics
Additional Information:
Real Name: Colleen Angel Pyka
Aliases/Nicks: CAP
Class: Vigilante 
Identity: Secret
Age: 26
Gender: Femal 
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Hair/Fur: Black
Eyes: Brown
Physical Form: Humanoid 
Race: Homo Superior
Marital Status: Complicated 
Citizenship: U.S.A. of Earth 926
Place of Birth: Tulsa, OK of Earth 926
Base of Operations: Louisville, KY of Earth 926
Education: Associates Degree in Psychology from University of Cincinnati
Occupation: Security for CITADEL
Origin of Powers: Mutant
Group Affiliation: CITADEL

Known Relatives
Father: Thomas Pyka
Mother: Carol Tanner-Pyka
Siblings: None
Children: None

Colleen's parents both were both college professors who ended up teaching at the University of Cincinnati, where Colleen ended up attending.

She was able to keep her powers hidden and began a lucrative part-time job as a private investigator when she turned 18.  Once her firm, Citadel Investigations took off, she settled for an Associates Degree, much to the disappointment of her parents.

After further establishing her firm's reputation, she decided to move into private security with a focus on providing a deterrent to corporate and cyber espionage and created her second company, CITADEL.

After clashing with AIM and Hydra she began using her powers to search out recruit other metahuman agents to add to CITADEL's stable.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday: Fisto (For Labyrinth Lord)

Malcom is the older brother of Duncan, Randor's first Man-At-Arms.  Malcom surved under King Miro during the Great Unrest but was wounded in battle and stricken with magical amnesia.  Wandering through Eternia he settled in the Mystic Mountains in a mining settlement unable to piece together how he lost his battalion.  His life changed when the Snake Men attacked his town and he helped save the Masters of the Universe from their trap.  But in doing so, Malcom shattered his right hand.  In gratitude Duncan replaced it with a robotic strong arm.  Now known as Fisto, he has made up with his brother and fights as a heroic member of the Masters of the Universe smashing weevil with his giant knuckles!

No. Enco.: 1

Movement: 60' 

Armor Class: 5 (15)

Hit Dice: 6

Attacks: Giant Mechanical Fist or Tow-Handed Sword

Damage: 1d6+4 or 1d10
Special: On a successful hit, if the d20 roll is even, the target is
              knocked back 1d+2 feet.

Save: F6

Morale: 8

Alignment: CG

X.P. Value: 500

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cross Planes Drifter: Dire Wraith (For OSRIC)

Dire Wraith 

Frequency: Rare
No. Encountered: 2 to 12
Size: Man-sized
Move: 90 ft.
Armour Class: 7 (13)
Hit Dice: 2 to 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 by weapon or 1d4+1 by sorcery.
Special Attacks: Female Dire Wraiths are 4th Level Magic Users (there is a 51% chance of having 1d2 Magic Users in a group).
Special Defences: None
Magic Resistance: Standard
Lair Probability: 10%
Intelligence: Hight to Genius
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Level/XP: (2 HD) 2/60
                  (3 HD) 2/90
                  (4 HD) 2/120

Treasure: They may (33% chance) have 1d4 large gems.

 The Dire Wraiths are an evolutionary offshoot of the Skrulls from the Andromeda Galaxy. Like the Skrulls, the Wraiths are shape-shifters, able to take the forms of other creatures. The Wraiths were originally depicted as amorphous, cloudy, vaguely humanoid-shaped beings. However, it was eventually revealed that was a transitional form used for shape-shifting and that their true form is entirely different. The Dire Wraiths are Skrullian Deviants engineered by the starfaring Celestials. The Wraiths have both reptilian and mammalian like traits. The females lay eggs and lactate.

 At some point in their history, female Dire Wraiths began to study evil magic. This caused a rift with their parent race, the Skrulls, and they were driven out of the Andromeda Galaxy.

Dire Wraiths are able to take on the forms of those they encounter, including the appearance of equipment and any clothing the victim is wearing. A Dire Wraith can assume any humanoid form between 4 ft to 8 ft tall, but the creature must first see the victim to be copied. Any Dire Wraith may attempt at physical disguise is only faulty 10% of the time, and it may choose to consume the victim's brain (victim must make a minor system shock test at -50%), which will turn the victim into ectoplasm if successful, .to gain the complete knowledge and memories of the victim (females always do this). 

Male Dire Wraiths study alchemy and females study sorcery, generally.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Prime Materials: Dwarven Combat Boots (For OSRIC)

Dwarven Combat Boots (CFPR): These heavy leather boots have
steel toes and are enchanted with the Runes of Endurance (kruop) and Protection (thenr).  The boots were presented to the human ranger, Viggo Ramsharp, of Auger, three centuries ago for his bravery and companionship to Jarl Rockbar Stonethunder of Ironheart Keep.  

The boots grant the wearer -1(+1) to AC and +3 to saves against poison and magic.  

When used as a weapon, the boots deal 1d4+1 damage.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Planar Changes

Having wrestled with the A to Z Challenge, I'm going to try my hand on some regular features each week, most of which have already started.

They will be:

Masters of the Universe Monday which has been resurrected (thank you Raphael Chandler!)

If its Tuesday it must be Jarlsburg (to keep adding to the pulse of the city).

New Comics Day, which will feature a new super being each entry (I cut my teeth on supers RPGs and currently I'm leaning toward using FASRIP, but I know Champions/HERO like the back of my hand and I might use a bit of Rotten Capes, Heroes Wear Masks, or Supers20).

Cross Planes Drifter, which will feature monster design (mostly of the D20 variety).

Prime Materials, which will feature magic item design (again mostly D20).

We will see where this takes me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Comics Day: Flash Mob (For FASERIP)

Profile:  Flash Mob

Fighting: Remarkable (30)
Agility:  Excellent (20)

Strength:  Incredible (40)

Endurance:  Excellent (20)

Reason:  Good (10)

Intuition:  Excellent (20)

Psyche:  Typical (6)

Health:  110

Karma:  36

Popularity:  Typical (6)

Resources:  Typical (6)

Duplication Remarkable (30)
Flash Mob can create up to 6 duplicates per turn to a maximum of 30 duplicates, but his "dupes" do not have the duplication power.
Diplomacy, Martial Arts B, Musician

Additional Information:
Real Name: Jon Martin Cooper Jr. 
Aliases/Nicks: Coop, JJ
Class: Vigilante 
Identity: Secret
Age: 19 
Gender: Male 
Height: 6 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 320 lbs.
Hair/Fur: Black
Eyes: Brown
Physical Form: Humanoid 
Race: Homo Superior
Marital Status: Single 
Citizenship: U.S.A. of Earth 926
Place of Birth: Dayton, OH of Earth 926
Base of Operations: Louisville, KY of Earth 926
Education: Bachelors in Communication and Music Education
Occupation: Recruiter for the Kiln
Origin of Powers: Mutant
Group Affiliation: The Kiln, CITADEL

Known Relatives
Father: Jon Martin Cooper
Mother: Lena R. Cooper
Siblings: James (16), Robyn (14)
Children: None

Jon Jr. is the oldest child of Jon Sr. and Lena who met while working at Roxxon Chemical in Texas.  After marrying the moved to Lena's hometown of Dayton, OH to raise their family, with Jon Sr. taking a position at Brighton Solutions and Lena becoming an Art teacher at Sizemore Elementary.

At the age of 11, JJ was spending the night a a friends house when a fire started and in his fear and panic, he duplicated for the first time to help wake up his friend's family.  Within a week after the incident, the Coopers were first approached by Elias and Thomasina Ash to join their new school, the Kiln in Louisville, KY.

JJ or Coop as became known was one of the original 12 students at the Kiln, the Ash's attempt to train and mentor young metahumans that were emerging all of the U.S.  The Kiln was designed to succeed where similar schools failed, the school was not merely designed to train one type of metahuman for combat, but to train them in the safe use of their powers and shape their world views and guide them to using those powers for the greater good--not merely battling their own kind in the streets.

Coop graduated with his Bachelors in two subjects at the age of 17 and has gone on to help recruit new students for the Kiln.

He also has been known to team up with several other former students as part of CITADEL, doing freelance security and intelligence work.

Thundarr the Movie

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